New York Times article: Keep the Briefs Brief, Literally

The Winning Brief and Legal Writing in Plain English

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Bryan Garner

The Winning Brief

This seminar specifically for litigators comprises 100 tips, each illustrated with good and bad examples from motions and briefs filed in courts throughout the country. Both the class and its 516-page coursebook (now in its second edition and published by Oxford University Press) are full of pointers that even the most accomplished brief-writers will find useful. Participants learn how to:

  • Plan briefing projects for maximal efficiency — whatever the time constraints
  • Capture a judge’s imagination with the first few words
  • Avoid the mind-numbing conventions that make so many briefs boring
  • Meet page limits with greater ease
  • Counteract the exaggerated style of Rambo opponents
  • Persuade judicial readers more reliably

Unlike Advanced Legal Writing & Editing, this course doesn’t require participants to do exercises. Instead, it covers much more material, and the coursebook supplies all the answers to editorial problems. It’s an excellent follow-up to ALW&E.

Bryan Garner

Legal Writing in Plain English

Our broadest seminar focuses on the principles that every legal writer must master to produce concise, down-to-earth, and powerful prose. Designed for lawyers, judges, legal scholars, law students, and paralegals alike, the day focuses on sound writing advice and practical tools. The goal, in essence, is to teach straight thinking by studying:

  • Principles applicable to all legal writing
  • Principles mainly for analytical and persuasive writing
  • Principles mainly for legal drafting
  • Principles of document design
  • Ways to continue improving your writing skills

The seminar includes a 227-page book by the same name, which includes basic, intermediate, and advanced exercises that can help participants further develop their talents. It also includes model documents and a guide to punctuation. More and more, clients are demanding plain English, and courts are rewarding it.

LawProse Policy on CLE Credit

LawProse applies for accreditation in those states where we conduct live public LawProse seminars. Where state bars require it, we submit attendees’ names as they are listed on the sign-in sheet on the day of the seminar. If you are seeking CLE credit for a state other than where that seminar is being held, please apply directly to the appropriate state bar.